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Morals of Legitimacy: Between Agency and the System

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Volume 12

New Directions in Anthropology

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Morals of Legitimacy

Between Agency and the System

Edited by Italo Pardo
Published in Association with UNESCO

272 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-765-5 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (January 2001)

ISBN  978-1-57181-785-3 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (January 2001)

Hb Pb   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


This volume is a welcome contribution for all those interested in human interactions with their environments, past, present, and future… [Scholars] will find it an excellent interdisciplinary complement to the literature of their field. The chapters are all well written, and many include photographs, maps, tables, and graphs. All reflect serious, well-designed participatory research projects…As this book demonstrates admirably, people, plants, and their habitats continue to maintain living, dynamic relationships in Europe, as elsewhere in the world.”  ·  Environmental History


With the growing fragmentation of western societies and disillusionment with the political process, the question of legitimacy has become one of the key issues of contemporary politics and is examined in this volume in depth for the first time. Drawing on ethnographic material from the U.S., Europe, India, Japan, and Africa, anthropologists and legal scholars investigate the morally diversified definitions of legitimacy that co-exist in any one society. Aware of the tensions between state morality and community morality, they offer reflections on the relationship between agency - individual and collective - and the legal and political systems. In a situation in which politics has only too often degenerated into vacuous rhetoric, this volume demonstrates how critical the relationship between trust and legitimacy is for the authoritative exercise of power in democratic societies.

Italo Pardo is Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent.

Subject: General Anthropology



Chapter 1. Introduction: Morals of Legitimacy: Interplay between responsibility,authority and trust
Italo Pardo

Chapter 2. The ‘Crises of Corruption’ and ‘The Idea of India’: A Worm’s-Eye View
Jonathan Parry

Chapter 3. The Cherries of the Mayor: Degrees of Morality and Responsibility in Local Italian Administration
Giuliana B. Prato

Chapter 4. When Power Lacks Legitimacy: Relations of Politics and Law to Society in Italy
Italo Pardo

Chapter 5. Vigilantism, State Jurisdiction and Community Morality: Control of Crime and ‘Undesirable’ Behaviour When the State ‘Fails’
Ray Abrahams

Chapter 6. Statist Imperatives and Ethical Dilemmas in the Representation of Missing Persons in Cyprus
Paul Sant Cassia

Chapter 7. Magnified Features: the Underdevelopment of Law and Legitimation
Peter Fitzpatrick

Chapter 8. A Quiet Life: Right or Duty?
John Fitzpatrick

Chapter 9. The Cases that were not to be: Explaining the Dearth of Case-Law on Freedom of Religion at Strasbourg
Marie-Bénédicte Dembour

Chapter 10. Unconventional Moralities, Tolerance and Containment in Urban Japan
Tom Gill

Notes on Contributors

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